The Oglethorpe men's basketball team saw the homestanding Covenant Scots shoot 55 percent from the field in the second half and outrebound the Stormy Petrels 23-9 in the period Tuesday night on Lookout Mountain. The combination proved too much for the Petrels to overcome, as they fell behind the Scots by as many as 18 points in the second period and eventually fell 78-64. The loss dropped the Petrels to 3-5 on the young season, and means they've dropped four of their last five contests.
Covenant outrebounded the Petrels 48-25 for the game, including a 14-1 margin on the offensive glass. Their work on the offensive boards allowed them to outscore Oglethorpe 12-1 in second-chance points. They also outscored the visitors 44-24 in the paint. The Petrels shot 41 percent for the game, while the Scots converted at a 47 percent rate over the full 40 minutes.
The Petrels did get another very good performance from junior guard Justin Edwards off the bench. He finished with 21 points on 8-of-14 from the field. Junior guard Chris Lawrence had 11 points on 3-of-6 from the field overall, 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. After making his first two 3-pointers of the game against Covenant, senior guard Mike Turner finally wound down his streak of consecutive made 3-pointers at 11, dating back to his last shot from distance in the Nov. 27 game against LaGrange. He finished Tuesday night's game with 7 points on 2-of-5 from 3-point range, passing out a team-high 3 assists in the process.
Oglethorpe busted out to a very early 5-0 lead, an edge which turned out to be their largest of the contest. Covenant responded, but the two teams traded baskets for the majority of the opening half of play. The Scots held a 17-16 lead with 8:57 to go before the break and the Petrels used another 5-point run, capped by Turner's second made 3-pointer, to push to a 21-17 lead with 7:03 left. The two teams continued jockeying back and forth, but Covenant used a 5-point run of their own to take a 27-26 lead with 4:49 left in the period. They then used a 9-2 run later on to build a 36-32 advantage with 1:17 remaining. The Petrels trailed 36-34 at the half.
Covenant came out and immediately pushed the advantage in the second half. They began the period on a 34-18 run over the opening 15 minutes, allowing them to completely take control of the contest and build a 70-52 lead with 4:55 remaining. The Petrels worked their way to within as little as 13 points with a 7-2 run, making the score 72-59 with 1:48 left. The Scots were able to close the game out from there, though.
"I thought our defense and intensity were good in the first half," said Oglethorpe head coach Philip Ponder, "but we just couldn't get a stop in the second half. They outrebounded us 14-1 offensively, and that is a very telling stat. It's extremely difficult to win games with that type of number going against you."
The Petrels will next travel south to Macon on Wednesday night, where they'll go against Division I Mercer in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. That contest will be available on ESPN3, the online-only platform of ESPN.
After that game, the team will take a couple weeks off for final exams and will next be in action Tuesday, Dec. 20, when they welcome in-state foe Piedmont to Dorough Field House at 6 p.m. The Petrels welcome Methodist, Stevenson and Sewanee to Atlanta for the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Classic Dec. 29 and 30.